Not much can compare to the feeling of driving your new car home. The paintwork is pristine, the wheels are shiny, and it’s got that unmistakable new car scent. Ahhhh, breathe that in.

No matter how hard you try, your car will likely slowly deteriorate. Even if you spend an hour every Sunday shining the paintwork until you can see your face in it, you can’t control other drivers bumping and scratching your beloved car. And don’t even get us started on car owners who leave their cars alone to deteriorate.

But with a little care, attention, and love, you can keep your car looking like new for years to come. Here are our tips to make your car look like new again:

Wash your car

This one is obvious. A clean car is a good basis for other modes of vehicle TLC, so whack out your mild detergent and get ready for some elbow grease.

Go around the car and look for any dirty bits that can be removed first. Then wash your car by hand using a soap that won’t strip the wax and polish off your car. Thoroughly rinse off the soapy water afterwards.

Dry your car

But wait, there’s more! Don’t just leave your car to air dry when you’ve washed it, dry it using a high quality, soft chamois cloth. This cloth won’t scratch your car and will soak up all the moisture.

This will make your car shinier and protect the bodywork.


Polishing your car will give it that all-important “just rolled off the forecourt” look, as well as protecting your paintwork from the elements.

You don’t even have to do this every week – every six months will do just fine. We love low-maintenance steps!

Clean your windscreen

Honestly, what’s better than a sparkling windscreen that you can actually see out of?

Remove bird poo immediately

Birds have a wicked sense of humour. No matter how careful you are about parking away from trees, you still end up with a present on your paintwork. Especially if you just washed your car.

Even though it’s a pain, it’s really important to clean the deposit from your car as soon as possible. Bird droppings contain acid which can damage your paintwork, and this problem is even worse under direct sunlight.

Wash the droppings off your car as soon as you can, because the longer it sits there, the worse it is for your paint job.

Stop going through car washes

You may think that you’re doing the right thing by your car by getting it cleaned in a local car wash, but you’d be wrong. The big swirling brushes are much too harsh for your car, causing paint scratches and adding a whole new load of swirl marks to your panels. Even if you don’t notice the damage, it can still be there.

The brushes in a car wash (and the cloths used to dry your car) are rarely cleaned, meaning that a build-up of grit, sand, and grime is scraped across your car every time you use it.

The old saying “if you want a job done right, do it yourself” applies here. Just cut out the risk and wash your own car.

Get bumps and scratches repaired

If bumps and scrapes do occur, you’re better off getting them fixed as soon as you can. Left untreated, scuffs and scratches can drive down your car’s retail value and lead to rust, which can be very expensive to sort out. And nothing says ‘old car’ like dents and scratches all over!

Going to a reputable garage like Autoprep will save you a headache and get your car looking like it’s brand spanking new in no time. Click here to see our repair services.

Stop driving right behind people

We’ve all been guilty of it. We’re running a little bit late to something, then bam! You’re stuck behind someone taking it a little easy on a Devon country lane. So, you drive far too close in a vain hope that they’ll speed up.

Not only is this obviously dangerous and stupid, but it also peppers your car with debris from the road. As the car in front’s wheels pick up debris and flings it back, you’re sat right in it, letting your paintwork get chipped away slowly but surely.

For every little stone you hear hitting your windscreen, there’s several more laying siege to your paintwork, metalwork, and headlights. Just think how much debris flies at your car when you sit behind big trucks…

Break gently

Not only does breaking hard increase the chance of someone driving right into the back of you, but it creates lots of brake dust residue that settles on your car.

This means that you burn through your brake pads more often, and you’ll need to get your car detailed to restore the finish.

Do your car a favour and break gently.

Get ice and snow off ASAP

Snow and ice can prove a major problem in the winter months.

Whilst snow and ice alone probably won’t damage your car too much, there’s often a layer of dirt, leaves, and debris lurking under the snow that will scratch your paintwork as the water melts.

Carefully remove ice, frost, and snow carefully, or wait for it to melt a little before gently removing it.


With our simple advice, you can keep your beloved vehicle looking in tip-top condition for minimal effort.

And if the thought of driving around a shiny, immaculate car doesn’t excite you, the possibilities for resale shoot up when the car looks as good as new.

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